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ISL 2017, Match 38: Kerala Blasters FC vs FC Pune City, Probable XI

ANALYST
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1.06K   //    04 Jan 2018, 12:26 IST

fc pune city
FC Pune City are the favourites (Image courtesy: ISL)

The two-time runners-up Kerala Blasters FC are all set to take on the high-flying FC Pune City in their 6th home game of ISL 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Thursday. This will be the first game for the Yellow Army after ending their association with head coach Rene Meulensteen following their defeat to local rivals Bengaluru FC.

Kerala Blasters have appointed their marquee player-cum-manager from inaugural season, David James as their new head coach but are expected to have assistant coach Thangboi Singto in the technical area for this game. Considering the unforeseen circumstances inside the club, we have to see how players react to this on the pitch tonight.

On the other side, FC Pune City will be eyeing the top spot in the league table with a win over the struggling Kerala Blasters. FC Pune City are coming on the back of two consecutive wins without conceding a single goal and scoring 7. They will surely aim to continue their domination on the field and register a hat-trick of wins.

Historically, the Stallions have managed to defeat Kerala Blasters just once in their 6 head-to-head battles and Kerala won 4 times. However, FC Pune City have won 3 out of their 3 games away from home this season and will look to continue the same form tonight.

Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters assistant coach Thangboi Singto is more concerned about their game instead of focussing on the results of other teams. He accepts that finding the back of the net has been the biggest concern for their side and they need to change this quickly.

With Berbatov and CK Vineeth fit for the game and Lekic-Pesic being injured, we are expecting Milan, Vineeth, Anto, Paul Rachubka and Berbatov to replace Subhasish Roy, Shadap, Pesic, Hume and Jackichand in their starting XI from the previous game. The Blasters assistant coach continues to field his side in 4-2-3-1 formation to keep a balance in attack and defence.

Kerala Blasters FC Probable Starting XI: Paul, Anto, Jhingan, Wes Brown, Lalruatthara, Milan, Hanghal, Berbatov, Pekuson, Vineeth, Sifneos.

Kerala Blasters FC Probable Starting XI
Kerala Blasters FC Probable Starting XI

FC Pune City

FC Pune City head coach Ranko Popovic is serving his 4-game suspension and the team will go into the game with assistant coach Vladica Grujic. Grujic believes that the team is getting better game after game and the suspension to the coach won't make much difference in the current stage.

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With no serious injury concerns in the side, we are expecting them to go unchanged from their last game against the NorthEast United. They will continue their favoured formation of 4-2-3-1 to control the ball in midfield area.

FC Pune City Probable Starting XI: Kaith, Golui, Gurtej, Rafael, Fanai, Tebar, Adil, Lucca, Kuruniyan, Marcelinho, Alfaro.

FC Pune City Probable Starting XI
FC Pune City Probable Starting XI

Prediction

Kerala Blasters FC 2-3 FC Pune City

We are expecting a goal-fest from both sides at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. However, FC Pune City are expected to continue their goal-scoring form and take home 3 points tonight. 

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